Hand-Coding

Canadian IdentityAm I crazy to still be hand-coding this site? I edit every stitch of torontomike.com in a basic text editor (good ol' Notepad does the trick nicely) building and maintaining it character by character. I know the XHTML and CSS that make up this site intimately, but am I wasting my time? Sometimes I wonder.

A friend of mine swears by Movable Type. He uses MT to manage a number of sites and has been encouraging me to convert. Others maintain their blog with help from Blogger, Radio UserLand, LiveJournal or another weblog publishing tool. At the very least I should be using software to build this site, like Dreamweaver, Pagemill or Frontpag perhaps. Yet here I am hand-coding this very entry.

I know why I do it. I love the control, I take pride in the accomplishment and I find the entire process to be rather romantic. Allow me to explain. When you hand-code every aspect of a site you have absolute control over how it behaves. If there's an issue or something that needs repairs, you can make the desired change and achieve the desired effect in no time at all. Should you envision an enhancement, you know exactly how to make it so. It's your XHTML and your CSS and nobody will ever know it the way you do. This is where the romantic aspect comes in. You start to feel emotionally attached to the source code. You find yourself staring at it in Notepad and swooning. You're validating each page with the W3C MarkUp Validation Service and beaming with pride when the blue banner proclaims your page is valid XHTML 1.0. You're proud of your creation because nobody helped you. No software saved you time and cluttered up your code and no software managed your blog entries for you. Now if you don't mind, I'd like a moment alone with my code.


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